Khatra (danger), hamla (attack), yeh bharat ko khatra... yeh Pakistan ka hamla. And sometimes khatarnak (dangerous) too.

If you are only listening, and not watching the screen, during a hockey match at the Commonwealth Games, the announcements can send anyone scurrying for cover.

The Hindi commentary is often hysterical and it is delivered in a contrived tone.

Hockey is an electrifying game. And these commentators hopelessly try to keep pace, forgetting the golden rule that on television ‘let the viewer follow the game'.

At least, Richie Benaud, the legendary Australian, believes ‘stay quiet if you can't contribute to the visual.'

Delightful use of phrase is not known to most of these commentators.

They are happy with the mundane tareef karni hogi (need to be praised) and khoobsurat mauka (beautiful chance). Savour this: aur yeh chance miss hua.

‘The ball is now in India's half. It is now in Pakistan's half'. You surely don't need this information on television.

Actually, the hockey commentators at the India-Pakistan encounter often performed as though they were doing a radio commentary. One of them would launch into unsolicited coaching lessons every now and then.

Every Indian save was greeted with a full-throated khoobsoorat bachaav (beautiful save). But every time Pakistan saved it became aur yeh mauka gava diya (opportunity squandered). The description was no better in the semifinal against England.

Lack of understanding of the subject has been the bane of DD when identifying commentators. This gem from the swimming pool is worth mentioning. Aur yeh panchve lane mein chapak chapak paani ucchalte hue (splashing water in the fifth lane). How else do you swim?

DD has shown that it has no parameters when it comes to quality. The CWG commentary has been the poorest in its history. “I am sorry to say that most of these commentators only state the obvious, describe what is seen on the screen,” said veteran commentator Ravi Chaturvedi.

“The CWG coverage (on DD) is substandard,” said cricket legend Bishan Singh Bedi. “The commentary is absolute rubbish. Poor camera work. I don't understand why they have commentary in Hindi only. The hockey stuff was substandard. The guys were clueless and partial. Most DD commentators fumble and mumble.

“One of them is incomprehensible. Another is incoherent. Terrible, terrible. In fact, I am watching CWG on DD but only on the mute mode,” said Bedi.

It is not that everything about DD is worth the mute mode. A few of the anchors have been doing a good job, with their clear diction and flawless pronunciation.

“Have you ever heard of television coverage in multi-discipline games where the men's 100 metres final is not shown live?” asked a coach from Bangalore.

DD Bharti had been showing continuous feed of athletics, but not many are aware of this and not all are lucky to have DD Bharti. The coach was watching DD sports and missed the 100m final.

“The day we started watching Prajusha and Mayookha (Johny) in action, DD shifted to the studios at a crucial time and there was a discussion among anchors and a so-called expert,” said the coach.

Like during the Beijing Olympics, DD has taken great pleasure in subjecting the viewers to the agony of watching in-studio discussions rather than live action. And it has forced on us anyone with a remote connection to a particular sport as a commentator.

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